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Daily Fascinations

Well, the hyacinth beans have already sprouted (planted 6/14):

We know what a problem I have even thinning new sprouts, so they’re just going to have to crawl on up the fence and be gorgeous for the rest of the summer. We just won’t eat ’em.

The San Marzano tomatoes are driving me to distraction, with their pear shapes and stolid refusal to TURN RED, DAMMIT:

Seriously. Do they not know I have spaghetti sauce to make?

My Gioia della Mensas are ripening like crazy…but the oddly-timed rainfall we get as we crank into the rainy season is giving it the splits:

It’s uneven watering that does that to your tomatoes, by the way. The tomato is already at full growth when the extra watering comes along, and it tries to absorb it and cracks open instead. Still completely edible, just whack of the ugly bits.

The Bachelor’s Buttons (Centaurea cyanus) started from seed way back when are finally blooming:

I just can’t stop taking pictures of the Salvia greggii.

It must be that particular shade of pink (which I ordinarily would disdain) against the vivid green leaves. Wonderful!

Likewise I can’t stop photographing the Purple Coneflowers (echinacea purpurea):

And it’s that same dang pink-y color I just don’t like anywhere else. I suppose it’s the flower shape here. And the amazing spiky centers. And the way it changes as it matures.

I’ve a dirty little secret, and may get me branded as a plant snob, but I have never liked marigolds. Oh, I’ll plant them because they’re a helping hand in discouraging some types of insect pests, but I’ve never really cared for the simplicity of them, I suppose. That and they’re dead common, can be found anywhere/anytime. But there’s as many marigold varieties are there are marigold petals, you just have to find the seeds somewhere and start them up, don’t rely on your local garden center (unless they totally rawk). Husband loves marigolds, so this year we have about five varieties going around here, from the plain old Burpee marigolds to unusual varieties like Golden Gate, Jolly Jester, Jaguar, and my new favorite, the Queen Sophia (Tagetes patula):

It GLOWS in the sunlight, making an eye-popping contrast against the medium green of its foliage. This year, marigolds are a specific joy, not just a habit-planting.

This black and blue salvia (Salvia guaranitica) is another plant I’ve underappreciated:

Despite its propensity for dropping old blooms/leaves in our pool the color contrast on this plant is gorgeous. I suppose black leaves/blooms are fascinating because that color usually means we’ve screwed up, and something is Going To Die. I have to keep watching it to make sure it lives, clearly!

It is a wonder I get any work done, I could walk around outside looking at these things all day.